THERE’S a three-week, drive-in movie season playing in the Parliamentary Triangle.
Organiser Vincent Hernandez, a Parisian expat living in Sydney, says the Mov’in Car outdoor car cinema is all happening in the huge car park near Questacon.
The season includes classic titles such as “Titanic”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “A Star is Born” and “Toy Story”, and munching on New York-style pizzas, delivered to cars while the movies are in progress.
Hernandez is no stranger to large-scale events, having staged “Bastille French Festival: Revolution in The Rocks” each July around Circular Quay and The Rocks.
In 2020 that event, which was attracting numbers in the order of 700,000, is postponed until October. In the meantime, he has another string to his bow.
“Since one of my passions is for the movies,” he says. “I thought I could set up an outdoor cinema event that was different from all the others in Australia.
“So I created Mov’in Bed outdoor bed cinema, where patrons watch movies from 150 queen-sized beds with blankets and pillows provided. Food was delivered to the beds, and it went nuts.
“This year we were planning to do it in Perth, Sydney and St Kilda on the beach, but then COVID-19 hit and restrictions set in.”
Hernandez’s original plan had been to try out a 4000 sqm garden car park near the Moore Park Entertainment Quarter, providing “beds in the sky”, but with the advent of lockdowns he embarked upon a hasty rebranding from “Mov’in Bed” to “Mov’in Car” to turn it into a drive-in venture relatively safe from the social distancing point of view.
“We were the first to launch this and it’s been selling out,” he says.
To cater for patrons who don’t have a car or a driving licence, Peugeot has chipped in with three cars for hire.
Hernandez is vague on detail about the ACT venture, but says he got a call asking: “Can you come and do it here in Canberra?”
The answer was an enthusiastic “yes” and he had 10 days to organise everything including, first and foremost, observance of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We have a contactless way of ordering food and drinks so people don’t have to go out to order the food at the bar,’ he says.
‘We have plenty of space and the only restriction is to make sure that people are seated properly inside the car watching the movies – we are doing things properly.”
But there are a couple of things that make him “a bit angry”, he says, especially the reality that thousands of people are crowding into massive shopping centres while entrepreneurs like him have to hold the numbers back.
The temporary rebranding from beds to cars will probably return to beds because “they’re very, very popular and it’s a very cool way to watch a movie,” but who knows? Cars are good, too.
Mov’in Car outdoor car cinema, Questacon Car Park, Parkes, until July 19.